Bruno Fernandes has backed Anthony Martial to get back amongst the goals despite previously mocking him for not finishing his chances.
The Frenchman is back at Manchester United after returning from a loan spell at Sevilla. He was unable to rediscover his best form whilst in Spain and will be looking to get off to a bang in pre-season and impress new boss Erik ten Hag on the club’s pre-season tour.
Martial was a record transfer back in 2015, moving for what was then a historic fee for a teenager. However he’s been unable to consistently deliver at Old Trafford despite his obvious talent leading to flashes of brilliance. Fernandes has been team-mates with Martial for several years, but has joked about his inability to finish in the past.
“With Marcus, there is always that kind of joke with him and Anto [Anthony Martial]. I say to them every time I pass to them, they never score,” said Fernandes in 2020. “They never give me assists. You see again that Anto missed that chance against Leeds. Straight away, I looked at him and started smiling. He understands what I mean by that. I think it’s good, it’s positive.”
Martial only scored one in 12 outings during his brief stint in LaLiga, prior to that he’d also found in difficult to find any form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That said, to underline his inconsistency, the 26-year-old managed to score 23 times in the 2020/21 season.
Fernandes said during a pre-season video: “Look who’s back – Anthony Martial is back. He’ll be back scoring goals again.” The Portuguese star clearly has faith in his team-mate, citing their special relationship. He said on social media previously: “My friend… our connection on and off the pitch was always special.”
Martial may well be looking to seize on a potential opening in United’s frontline, which remains uncertain heading into the new season amid continued speculation. Marcus Rashford, like his French colleague, struggled for form and goals and is out to prove himself under the new regime as he targets regular minutes.
The biggest talking points though is the future of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has expressed a desire to quit the club this summer. Ronaldo has only been back at the club for less than 12 months but wants to move on after a poor year at Old Trafford has resulted in United missing out on the Champions League.